Marion County, Florida facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Marion County, Florida
Seal of Marion County, Florida
Map
Map of Florida highlighting Marion County
Location in the state of Florida
Map of the USA highlighting Florida
Florida's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded March 14, 1844
Seat Ocala
Largest City Ocala
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

1,663 sq mi (4,307 km²)
1,585 sq mi (4,105 km²)
78 sq mi (202 km²), 4.7%
PopulationEst.
 - (2015)
 - Density

343,254
209/sq mi (81/km²)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website: www.marioncountyfl.org
Named for: Francis Marion

It is actually in Panama City, FL.

Marion County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was 331,298. Its county seat is Ocala.

Marion County comprises the Ocala, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History

Marion County was created in 1844 from portions of Alachua, Mosquito (Orange), and Hillsborough counties. Until 1853, Marion County included most of what are now Lake and Sumter counties. In 1849, Putnam County was created and took the northeast portion of Marion. Levy County’s creation took some of the western portion of Marion in 1877. The county is named after General Francis Marion of South Carolina, a guerilla fighter and hero of the American Revolutionary War. A large share of the early settlers being natives of South Carolina likely caused the name to be selected. The Act creating the county of Marion of the Territory of Florida was signed on March 14, 1844, by the territorial governor, R. K. Call. Many of the early settlers of Marion County were from South Carolina. The county motto is "Kingdom of the Sun." Farms in the county are known for breeding champion race horses such as Affirmed and Needles.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,663 square miles (4,310 km2), of which 1,585 square miles (4,110 km2) is land and 78 square miles (200 km2) (4.7%) is water.

Marion County is generally composed of rolling hills, some high and some low. The majority of its trees consist of live oaks, pine, and palm trees. Marion County is considered the southernmost county in North Central Florida, and the northernmost county in Central Florida.

It is about a two-hour drive from many of Florida's major cities, Orlando is 75 minutes to the southeast while Daytona Beach is about 90 minutes to the east. Tampa is about 75 minutes to the southwest. Jacksonville is roughly a two-hour drive northeast. Miami is about five hours to the southeast. Fort Lauderdale is about a four-hour drive from Marion County.

Marion County also has three large lakes at its opposite borders. Orange Lake is in the far northern part of Marion County, near the border with Alachua County. Lake Kerr is in the northeastern part of the county, near the town of Salt Springs, which is near the border with Putnam County. Lake Weir, the largest of the three, is in the far southern region near the border with Lake County. Part of Lake George is in Marion County also.

Marion County is inland, centered between the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Gulf of Mexico to the west. Because of this, Marion County is not affected as much by hurricanes as the more coastal counties to its east and west are. It has however been impacted by major hurricanes within the historical record including ones that would produce tremendous damage if they were to happen again. The second greatest threat from tropical cyclones, both financial and in terms of life, is the threat created by fresh water flooding. Major winds above 100mph are possible from hurricanes in Marion County, anywhere in the county, but have not been recorded in modern times. However, tornadoes are a major threat to this region of the state. Although Marion County is not near either of Florida's coasts, it is situated slightly to the west. Therefore, it takes a little less than an hour to get to the Gulf of Mexico while it takes about half an hour longer to get to the Atlantic Ocean.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

  • Ocala National Forest (part)

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 3,338
1860 8,609 157.9%
1870 10,804 25.5%
1880 13,046 20.8%
1890 20,796 59.4%
1900 24,403 17.3%
1910 26,941 10.4%
1920 23,968 −11.0%
1930 29,578 23.4%
1940 31,243 5.6%
1950 38,187 22.2%
1960 51,616 35.2%
1970 69,030 33.7%
1980 122,488 77.4%
1990 194,833 59.1%
2000 258,916 32.9%
2010 331,298 28.0%
Est. 2015 343,254 3.6%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015

As of the census of 2000, there were 258,916 people, 106,755 households, and 74,621 families residing in the county. The population density was 164 people per square mile (63/km²). There were 122,663 housing units at an average density of 78 per square mile (30/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 84.16% White, 11.55% Black or African American, 0.45% Native American, 0.70% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.69% from other races, and 1.44% from two or more races. 6.03% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. According to the 2000 Census the largest European ancestry groups in Marion County were English (18.7%), German (16.7%) and Irish (14.0%).

There were 106,755 households out of which 24.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.60% were married couples living together, 10.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.10% were non-families. 25.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.79.

In the county, the population was spread out with 21.40% under the age of 18, 6.40% from 18 to 24, 23.80% from 25 to 44, 23.90% from 45 to 64, and 24.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 93.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,944, and the median income for a family was $37,473. Males had a median income of $28,836 versus $21,855 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,848. About 9.20% of families and 13.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.20% of those under age 18 and 7.40% of those age 65 or over.

Communities

Cities

Towns

Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities


Marion County, Florida Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.